fjmt was recently engaged by UNE to undertake Principal Design Services for the IAEP which consists of four components; a new Agricultural Education Building, refurbishment and upgrade of undergraduate lecture theatres and other teaching facilities, development of a ‘SMART’ farm research and demonstration station, and a new interior of the Tamworth Regional Study Centre.
The primary project component, the 3,600sqm Agricultural Education Building is a key facility planned to reinvigorate the western campus of UNE and unite the existing agricultural and animal sciences surrounding facilities. With a modest budget the project seeks to extract maximum value for the users and University from the budget. The flagship IAEP component is the Agricultural Education facility which includes teaching and research spaces such as:
- a large wet/dry teaching ‘superlab’ with a capacity of 192 students suitable for teaching biology and chemistry with associated preparation laboratories, - a -20C and -80C freezer room and wet/dry stores
- a molecular PC2 research lab for 14 staff (a joint venture between UNE and the CSIRO)
- 4 flexible and modular research laboratories for ecology and physiology with four special controlled temperature rooms and sound control rooms
- naturally ventilated open plan write-up workstations with clusters of offices for research leaders adjacent
- a teaching and research museum with associated preparation wet and dry laboratories for specimen preparation
- a series of small group study and interactive spaces equipped with presentation technology
- student breakout spaces connected to the main cafe and building foyer
Another project component of the IAEP is the development of a Sustainable, Manageable and Accessible Rural Technologies (SMART) Farm as a low cost research and education facility at Kirby Farm outside Armidale. The facility will house a working farm, SMART Farm demonstration ‘Command Centre,’ visitor and teaching space with seminar room and offices. Enhanced ICT and AV infrastructure and technologies will give students hands-on experience with modern technologies that aim to revolutionise the way Australian farms are managed.